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White Collar Fic: The Caffrey Box

Title: The Caffrey Box
Rating: PG
Characters: Neal & Peter
Length: ~1000
Summary: Neal discovers the Caffrey box.  Prepared for aqwt101 for this prompt.


A/N: This is centered more on the pestering part.  I'd like to see this prompt with a more involved fic, but this is my take on it.  (Nothing like loads of housework to incentivize ficcing.  But since housework doesn't do itself, my ficcing spree is about to end. )


Jones: Let me guess.. that's your Caffrey box.
Peter: Everything that didn't make sense to log into evidence.



It was midday, and Peter and Neal were on their way to interviewing a possible suspect.  Or they would have been, if they hadn't been stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.  After ten minutes of traffic barely moving, Neal leaned back in the passenger seat.  "This is boring."

Peter rolled his eyes.  If being a passenger in a traffic jam was boring, being a driver was living hell.  "I apologize for not making life more interesting."

He was saved from further apologies when his phone rang.  It was El.  Peter answered on the car's speakers.  "Hey."

"Hon, hey.. I found three whole boxes of files I put aside for you."

"Excellent.  I'll take care of it tonight."

"Love you."

Disconnecting the call, Peter turned to Neal.  "El decided to do some spring cleaning."  The phone rang again and Peter pressed the 'answer' button.  "Yes?"

"I forgot to ask, what about all the Neal stuff?  You're going to-"

Peter lunged for the phone, knowing full well it was too late.  Barn, doors, frolicking horses in the distance.  "Yeah, Hon, we'll discuss this when I get home.  OK?  Yep, sure.  Uh-uh.  Yeah, he's here.  Yes, he did.  Yeah, I love you too."

He put down the phone, and for a minute, silence settled over the car.  "So, El decided to do some spring-cleaning and.. Women, you know-"

Neal was staring at him with an amused grin.  "You honestly believe I'm going to let this drop?"

"There was a hope."  Peter glanced at Neal, and added under his breath: "Small hope."

"What's the Neal stuff?"

"Oh some odds and ends."

Neal's eyes sparked with excitement.  "You kept my birthday cards?"

Peter nodded silently, before relenting under Neal's gaze. "Among other things."

Neal beamed proudly, fingers dancing on his side of the door.  "I didn't know you cared."

"I didn't." Peter shook his head, "But I was chasing you for three years, and I had no idea what would be useful.  Good detective work is in the details."

"So why are you still keeping it?"

Peter sighed.  "Well, after three years, it just seemed like a waste to throw it all out."

"Uh-uh.  What else do you have?"

"Nothing interesting, I can assure you."

"Right."  Neal didn't believe that for a second.  "So when can I see it?"

"What?" Peter shot Neal a glance.  "Oh, no, no, no.  No."

"Oh, come on, Peter.  It's *my* stuff you're keeping."

"No." Peter answered adamantly.

"Why not?"

Peter turned to face Neal, "What part of 'no' don't you understand?"


---------------

"OK.  Here it is."  Peter came down the stairs with a cardboard box and placed it on the kitchen counter.  "Believe me, it's quite boring."

Neal was already pulling the flaps open.  "Uh-uh. Oh, you kept my cookies!"

"The packaging."

"Yeah, I suppose by now they wouldn't taste as fresh.  Don't tell me you kept that sucker too."

Peter smiled at the memory.  "That's long gone."

"You kept the wrapper, then?"  Neal reached into the box, pulling out a bunch of paper napkins from various restaurants.  He looked at Peter incredulously.  "You kept my doodles?"

"They might have contained important clues!"

"You didn't hang them on the fridge I hope."  Neal dropped them and continued rummaging in the box.  "What are these?"  He held up another package of papers.

"What do you think?"

Neal was looking through them.  "Tourist brochures?  How was that supposed to help you catch me?"

"You never know when they'll come in handy," Peter added dryly.

"Oh...." Neal produced an empty bottle of champagne.  "This brings back memories."

Peter put a hand on his hip.  "Really?"

"Well, alleged memories."  Neal sniffed at the cap.  "Only the best for the FBI."

Neal put the bottle down. After some more rummaging he pulled out a package of surveillance photos and started flipping through them.  "Very stalker-y."

Peter rolled his eyes.  "I had to get into your head if I was going to catch you."

"Says the guy who stalked his future wife."

"Give me that."  Peter grabbed the pictures and dropped them back into the box.  "I wasn't stalking her.  I was just waiting for the opportune moment to ask her out."

"Uh-uh."  Neal held up a packet of CDs.  "Favorite surveilling van music?"

"Phone recordings."  Peter took the packet and looked through them.  "There was a time when all my house calls were recorded, we never knew when you'll decide to ring me up."

"Ohhhh yes."  Neal glanced over Peter's shoulder.  "And you're saving them for.. what?"

"Neal, despite what you might think, I haven't looked at this box since you've been arrested."

"Really?"

"Yes."

Neal just waved that away, his attention focused on a container he'd pulled out of the box, filled with ticket stubs.  "You actually went to them all?"

"Look, a wanted art thief sends you to a museum, you have to go, right?"  Neal stared Peter down.  "And El gave me no choice."

Neal flipped through the tickets again.  "Ooh.  You *did* go to that Yankees game." Neal waved the ticket stub in front of Peter's face.  "You're still saying you haven't looked at this box recently?"

Peter grabbed the entire package from Neal's hands.  "OK.  I think that's enough for tonight."  He gathered everything on the counter and dumped it all back in.

"So we're going to do this again sometime?"

"No."  Peter closed the box.  He'd already shared more than he intended to.

Neal shrugged with a smile.  "We'll see about that."


---------------

That night, in their bedroom, Elizabeth snuggled up to Peter.  "I'm sorry about today. I didn't realize you were on speaker."

"That's OK."  Peter reached over to turn off the lights.  "At least he didn't realize there was more than one box."


Comments

This was wonderful! I was hoping someone would fill that prompt. I know I said this in the last story but I love your writing. I can just picture the whole thing playing out and see their faces.

I love the jump from Peter saying what part of no don't you understand to him showing the box to Neal. :D And that Peter has more than one box. Of course he does. And you Neal will find out. :D

Thank you for this. I so needed the laugh today and this is just so adorable and sweet and so them.
I'm glad to give you a needed laugh, and thank you so much for your comment!

It's my head-canon that there's more than one box. I'm sure Peter has it all nicely catalogued somewhere. And Neal is smart and I left him enough reasons to suspect there's more than one box ;-)
LOL!! Oh, this is soooo Neal!! And so Peter too!!

And that last line is priceless!! Because, yes, of course there's more than one box!! :D :D
Thank you! Neal pestering Peter is a lot of fun to write and I'm glad you enjoyed it :-)
Oh this is cute ! Love it ! Thanks for the good read ! :-)
You're welcome :-) I'm glad to hear you liked it :-)
Awwww, this was cute and funny and *so them*! I love it! (And I have to admit that I too had hoped someone would fill that prompt. You did an absolutely amazing job!)
Thank you so much!

I would like more reminiscing between them, but that would be a completely different story that I'm not the one to write. I'm glad you liked it :-)
This was such a treat, so Peter and Neal. Thanks for posting.
Thank you :-) I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Bweeeeeeeee! This is fantastic! The ending made me laugh out loud through my breakfast. <3 <3 <3
That makes me very happy! Thank you :-D
Aww, that was so cute and right what I wanted!♥ I could hear their conversation in my head. :-D
Thank you so much for filling my prompt!
I'm so glad to hear that :-). It's not exactly Forging Bonds, but I love pestering Neal and long-suffering Peter and couldn't pass up the opportunity :-)
Aww this was so cute. Loved Neal ribbing Peter. The last line cracked me up
I love Neal ribbing Peter too :-) thanks for your comment :-)
omg. adorable! so them - the voices are spot on, the banter, all of it. the last line is perfect.
Thank you so much :-) I love their banter and I love to write it :-)
*snickers* oh, Peter.
heheh :-)
aww it was so cute and funny...wonderful fill for a wonderful prompt..
I loved it and ofcourse there is more than one box
Thank you :-) I'm glad you enjoyed it :-)
Loved it, thanks so much for writing, it was so true of character.
When I saw the scene with Jones and Peter and the box I thought, awwwwww, Peter holding on to this stuff because this was his best work for the FBI and he kinda loved it sooo much that he would never throw away this stuff. *heartshim* ♥

Edited at 2013-03-19 12:12 pm (UTC)
*pets Peter* It's Neal stuff, he can't throw it away ;-)
Nice tag, with a twist of "more than one box". During the episode, I wanted more information on the ritual of the corks. Somehow I imagine Peter having a box of just corks! Also see Neal making a mental checklist of things that aren't in that one box and trying to covertly ask Peter about those things.
Oh, I'm sure he has a box of corks! The cork story seemed weird to me, but at least we got the Caffrey box from it. And that's exactly what I thought, Neal has so many things to ask about!
I love this and LOL that ending is perfect. I wonder what's in the other box?
The way I see it, he's got a whole closet full of boxes ;-) and probably some hidden under the bed too. I'm glad you liked it :-)
LOL this is great. Sweet and I love Neal teasing him.

Oh Peter, of course he doesn't understand any part of the word no. You know that.
LOL! I think Peter's still in denial :-)
OMG AWESOME! Spot on, perfect voices, brilliant banter, and so them!!! LOLing at Peter saying no and then the cut to him showing Neal the box. *sporfle* And then the last line! Perfect! Ahahaha! Oh, sneaky Peter is sneaky.

I've been waiting to read some Caffrey Box fics, and this really made my day. Thank you! :D
Thank you so much! :-) I love Peter-Neal banter, and it's a lot of fun to write!
Ah this was perfect! Their voices, the banter, the situation, and the comedic timing. Love!
Thank you :-D I'm glad you enjoyed it :-)
This is great! I can totally see them doing this, and I love Neal's reaction to the box. He would definitely let it go to his head a little.

I love the last line, too. LOL at Peter having multiple Neal boxes.
Neal loooooves when people talk about his crimes (long as it doesn't lead to more prison). He always gets that beamy look about him. And I love that about him :-) Thanks for commenting :-D
Oh that was sweet & funny. Love Neal doing the teasing & Peter being all embarassed. :)
Well, he has been keeping Neal's stuff for the past 6-7 years. He deserves all the teasing Neal can dish out ;-)
Aww, that was too cute and funny. I especially liked the ticket stubs and Neal's surprise at them!
Thanks :-) I do wonder if Peter is still saving Neal stuff :-)
Oh, I thought you were implying that he still did with the baseball game. I was thinking about the tickets he's offered that time he said "boop!" when putting them in someone's pocket, and that time after the Keller fiasco. Although I suspect neither of those cases ended up with Peter at a ballgame.

And I say yes, Peter still totally collects Neal stuff! He can always justify it to himself as useful information. I wonder if the cut tie made it in there...
I thought you were implying that he still did with the baseball game

I was :-) But I wonder if he saved them on the show too ;-)

The cut tie!! LOL! completely forgot about that one! There we go, actual cannon proof.
Pure fun! I'm still smiling ...
Thanks!
It was fun to write, and I'm glad it's fun for you to read too :-)
I'm finally catching up with my stuff.

This is so lovely... and so in-character. I could almost see Peter's mock annoyance and Neal's childlike excitement :D

I think deep down inside Neal was really touched that Peter kept all this stuff ♥ :D

Thank you, this is great :D
Oh, good point! I'm sure Neal is touched.

Thank you for commenting! :-)